The Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles, Australia

Great Ocean Road - The Twelve Apostles in Australia. Complete Touring Guides, information on what to see and do.
Great Ocean Road, Australia - Self-Drive Itineraries from one day to six days
Great Ocean Road, Australia - Waterfalls and Rainforest Hikes. Tourist information and itineraries.

How Long Does It Take To Drive The Great Ocean Road?

Beginning in Torquay and driving to the end of the Great Ocean Road near Allansford is 238 km, drive time is 3 hours 47 minutes. That is without stopping to see the famous sights such as the 12 Apostles etc.

It is a terrific drive and whilst it might seem an easy enough road trip and not such a huge distance, the reality is that you will want to stop at all the beaches, seaside towns, waterfalls, and well-known look out spots.

What makes the Ocean Road Great?

The world-famous 12 Apostles, rainforest walks, waterfalls, historic lighthouses, and koalas in the wild all make the Great Ocean Road one of the best drives in Australia.

One day self-drive trips along the Great Ocean Road are popular as well as small bus tours, though, if you have time, a couple of days can easily be filled seeing so much more.

What to expect

Most of the Great Ocean Road follows the coast and winds around cliffs, sometimes climbing high with distant views along the coast and out to the Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean, other times dipping down to sea level where travelers can feel the thunder of the waves and explore the many beaches and rock pools.

The Great Ocean Road, Australia - Cape Otway Lighthouse, Koala in the wild & Maits Rest Rainforest walk


A number of viewpoints along the Great Ocean Road provide visitors with time to breathe in the salty air and read historical markers.

The ocean road then goes inland through rainforest and farmland before climbing over the top of the Otway Ranges and back down to what is known as the ‘Shipwreck Coast’ before reaching the famous rock formations of the Twelve Apostles.

The Great Ocean Road, Australia - The 12 Apostles

50 Best Things to See – Great Ocean Road Map

The return Great Ocean Road trip from Melbourne is more than 500 km and best explored over two days or more if time allows. See the interactive map and read our list of the 50 Best things to see and do when visiting the region.

Lorne and Apollo Bay are ideal locations to use as a base for extended holidays in the region.

Caravan parks and campgrounds are easy to find all along the coast, most vary between resort-style caravan parks which are ideal for families, to basic bush camping spots and a limited number of free camping sites are available too.

HISTORY OF THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

The Great Ocean Road is a memorial to those who fought and lost their lives in World War I. Built by returned servicemen, it was a huge engineering task that ended many years of isolation for the township of Lorne and surrounding communities.

Plans first began in the 1880s and became a reality towards the end of the First World War. The proposal was made that funds be provided for the employment of returned soldiers building roads in underpopulated regions. The plan was described as the ‘South Coast Road’ following the coast around Cape Otway and ending near Warrnambool.

Historic Images of the Great Ocean Road, Australia
Building the Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Route Map – Planning your Road Trip itinerary

  1. How long do you need to see everything? Read our 1,2, and 6 day Great Ocean Road itineraries to decide which road trip will suit you best, perhaps you only have time for a day trip or can extend it once you know how much there is to see?
  2. Are you wondering where to stay? Reading our itineraries can help. There are luxury resorts, motels, hotels, cottages, backpackers, cabins, and camping grounds.
  3. If you are from overseas do you feel comfortable to self-drive on the left-hand side of the road? If not, perhaps an organized tour from Melbourne would be a good choice? We can show you the best tours.
  4. What is the Great Ocean Road weather like? We cover that in our FAQ’s.
  5. What are the best attractions, things to see, and the best stops along the way? We know the Great Ocean Road tour route really well and have detailed highlights on the map below.
  6. What else is there to do? There is so much more to do! We have listed a load more things such as gourmet food places, microbreweries, surf schools, and tree climbing parks at the end of the page.
  7. Use this Great Ocean Road map to plan an itinerary when driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, or vice versa.
  8. The ‘Twelve Apostles’ are in which National Park? The 12 Apostles are in the Port Campbell National Park.
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